Search Engine Optimization – Part 2

Last week I covered some of the key areas you can focus your attention on for improving your pages SEO potential. This week I’ll walk you through some tips on doing this with your WordPress site.

How to do Search Engine Optimization in WordPress

WordPress is very easy to do Search Engine Optimization with. By default, just using proper page titles and descriptive URLs will get you off to a great start. That said you can always give yourself a little extra boost by adding in one of the many highly rated search engine optimization plugins that are available. Of all the plugins that are out my personal favorite is the Yoast plugin It installs easily, works well with other plugins and gives you an extra couple of sections to help as well. When adding a page or a post you can not only add your title tag and your description but it also gives you a quick test and score to to let you know how you did.

General Tab

On the General Tab you will see a snippet which shows you a mock up of how your site might look on a Google results page. Here you can fine tune your main focus key word, page title, and description areas. (image 1)  As you modify this section it will give you some real time feedback.

Tips for the General Tab:

Try to use your key words in all sections.

Aim for at least 2 uses in the description area. 5+ in Content.

Page Analysis tab

On the Page Analysis tab you will find detailed information that will help you tune your Search Engine Optimization. (image 2) This section requires you to save/publish/update in order for it to recheck the page contents. Here you will find out if you missed adding any alt tags to images, how hard your copy is to read, how ‘dense’ your use of keywords has been and more.

Tips for the Page Analysis tab

It’s not necessary to get everything green here.  Worry less about that, and more about the big ones such as keyword density, readability, word counts and alt tags.

Read all of the tips carefully.

The Advanced tab gives you even more control over your page’s Search Engine Optimization. For information on how to use it, you’ll need a bit more information. A good starting place is Yoast’s website.

Finally, image 3 shows where you can find the SEO score Yoast gives you when it checks your page.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

The Yoast SEO score shows you how well your page is optimized.

Other Factors effecting Search Engine Optimization

Everything beyond this point is outside of your direct control. Other factors which affect your rankings include who links to you call the back link link 2 and other factors such as your Google PageRank which appears to be being phased out as I write this. Trust factor, which is an evaluation of how trustworthy your site is, and Citation Index which is an evaluation of how your page is cited elsewhere also matter. How many pages you actually have also matters. Meaning if you got five thousand pages you are probably going to have a better chance of being ranked well then if you have 5 and the quality of your competition.

One other factor is how many people link to you and their own rankings.  Gone are the days where you sign up for every link list there is and link back to your site.  Do this today and you’re more likely to get blacklisted.  So be picky about where you link back to your site from.

Another thing outside of your control is how people look for you. A story I often tell people is when years ago I worked for a manufacturing company. They called me in and said “how come we’re not ranking under our key word”? The key word was very short, “strainers”. Well there are a dozen different types of strainers on the market. You have a strainers in your sink, you put a strainers in your pool, you use a strainer when you dump your pasta but they didn’t make any of these kind of strainers. There were millions of results when they typed in “strainers” and they were nowhere to be found. Why? Because they didn’t make just a strainer , but a specific kind of strainer. One that being a buyer in the business to business market that I focused would look for.  I asked how would a buyer and a company who was going to buy your product look for it? The response came back “self-cleaning automatic water strainer”. I said type it in and they were 8 out of the first 10 including the number one position. A buyer looking for that particular type of product would see that they were all over the first page and look at them favourably. “Self-cleaning automatic water strainer” is what’s referred to as a long tail keyword or I just call it being specific.The more specific you are, the more accurate your results will be.

If you were looking for a photographer and you go to Google and type in photographer you get millions upon millions of responses. But a photographer in Moscow doesn’t do someone in Colorado much good. So someone in Colorado would typing something more specific like “Denver Colorado wedding photographer”. Google and the other search engines would basically look at that and give them a majority of results that apply to what they are particularly looking for, a wedding photographer in Denver Colorado. If Google, Bing, Yahoo or the other search engines have properly processed all of their data they will not return a car photographer in Johannesburg when I’m looking for a wedding photographer in Denver Colorado.

So in conclusion, if you follow the tips I gave you, right good copy, properly structure your website, and avoid the tricks that will hurt you you stand a very good chance of writing or having a website that will  index  well.